A Glorious History of Bikrampur
Kazi Liakat Hossain
The history of Bikrampur dates back to five thousand years. It is a historical fact that the ancient rulers used to rule the country (Bangla). A.F.M. Abdul Jalil, the author of “Sunder Baneyer Etihash” wrote that the history of ancient Bangla was basically the history of Bikrampur. The noted historian Jogendranath Gupta wrote the history of Bikrampur whose area was three hundred to four hundred square miles. It was actually the history of the entire country (Bangla).
When there was no trace of Dhaka city, Bikrampur i.e present Munshiganj district, was the nerve centre of people there. The ancient rulers of Bikrampur administered the country from here. Their capital was sometimes at Rampal, sometimes at Bikrampur, or at Munshiganj. History indicates that there was a Muslim Zaminder in Munshiganj named Haider Ali Munshi after whose name “Munshiganj” has come into being. From one of the writings of Tolemi, it is seen that Edruckpur, i,e Munshiganj’s name, was Bikrampur. Dhaka was called Dacca that was a “Watching Fari”. In his (Tolemi’s) writings he narrated that there was a famous town called “Ganganagar” near Munshiganj, which was engulfed, by the river Barai.
Many dynasties ruled Bikrampur such as Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim. Bikrampur saw rise and fall of many dynasties. Here in Bikrampur there were three religious wars among Pals, Senas and Sultans (Muslim rulers). Their names are still unforgettable.
It is historically proved that five thousand years ago a mummy of a king of Egypt was discovered where his body was covered with a smooth blue cloth. The blue cloth was exported from Bikrampur.
It is stated that many kings of different countries used to bow down their heads and paid homage to reputed sons of Bikrampur and stood up hearing their names.
Thousand years ago, Sheel Bhadra, one of the savants of Bikrampur, was born in Munshiganj sadar, at the village Ganakpara. A savant of all times and Buddhist priest, Sreegan Autish Dipankar was born at the village Bajrajogini in Munshiganj Sadar Upazila. He went to China carrying the light of knowledge. He made Bengalis friendship with China thousand years ago. He was invited to China as only one perfect religious reformer. He was treated as a prophet of Buddhism.
Benoycor once said without Autish Deepankar “Bangla” would have been a dark place. The world-famous scientist Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose was born in this holy soil. The real patriot, human lover Barrister (C.R. Das) Chittaranjan Das was born in Bikrampur. He was once so modish gentleman that he used to get his dress washed from Paris regularly. Political leader and reputed poetess Mrs. Sarajini Naidu’s ancestral home was in Bikrampur. Justice Chandra Madhab Ghose, chief Justice of the British India, was born here in Bikrampur. Benoy, Badal, Denesh Gupta, rebels of British Government, were born in Bikrampur.
Saktiman Shama Kanta, a famous wrestler, was born at village Arial, Tongibari Upazila, Bikrampur. A noted archaeologist Dr. Nalini Kanta Bhatta Shali, Mathematician Somen Chandra Bose, a reputed donor Raja Janakiram Roy Bahadur, Setanath Kundu, Editor “The Punjab Tribune” Herbal Medicine expert Acharja Shirish Chandra Sen, Principal Mathura Mohan Mukharjee were sons of Bikrampur. First Textile Mills founder in the country Debendra Chowdhury and Surja Kumar, Vice-Chancellor of Rabindra Bharati University Savant Khiti Mohan Sen, famous Persian scholar Chand Kha Munshi, Spiritual leader Rowshan Kha, poet Syed Emdad Ali and out of three Muslim post-graduate degree holders Md. Shamsuddin Ahmed Kha (Intu Kha) M.A. 1919 C.U. Prof. Kazi Amir Hossain M.A. 1st class first (Double) 1935 D.U. were the brilliant sons of the soil. In cultural horizon a famous comedian Bhanu Banarjee and noted film actress Shabitri Chaterjee all hailed from Bikrampur. Many other luminaries of Bikrampur have made Bikrampur Pargana a world-reputed land in the world map.
The area of Bikrampur was (900) nine hundred square miles, for geographical, political change and river erosion; its area has shrunk to 362 square miles. During 1987-88 floods the area has come down to 300 square miles. In 1874 south Bikrampur was formed taking 458 villages, which is now a part of Faridpur. North Bikrampur is now Munshiganj District. Because of recent administrative decentralization, it comprises six upazilas, namely Munshiganj Sadar, Sreenagar, Tongibari, Shirajdikhan, Lohajung and Gazaria Upazila.
Most of us do not know the ancestral home of youngest and reputed poet Sukanta Bhattcharya, who was born in South Bikrampur now Faridpur. His nephew Mr Buddahdeb Bhattcharya is the Chief Minister of West Bengal. A noted Congress Leader of Bikrampur, Dr Praphulla Chandra Ghose, after partition, became Chief Mister of West Bengal. Mahatma Gandhi came to the village Malikanda of Bikrampur having been invited by Praphulla Chandra Ghose. Barrister Shidhartha Sankar Roy who was Chief Minister of West Bengal was also Governor of Punjab. He hails from Bikrampur. He was grandson of Barrister C R Das. Mr Fazlur Rahman, a noted Muslim League leader and central minister of the then Pakistan, was a son of Bikrampur, now Dohar Upazila of village Shinepukur District Dhaka. Mr Shudhir Chandra Ganguli was school teacher, who obtained 1st class in B.A.(hons) in English from Calcutta University during the British period. He was a life long bachelor. He did not take masters degree. It was rumoured that he had fallen in love with the daughter of Barrister C R Das and wanted to marry her, because of Shudhir Chandra Ganguli's high birth and family status, his family opposed the marriage , because of his failure, with a broken heart he came back to his village home Sheikhernagar and started teaching in a high school.
Former IGP A R Khondoker was his student.
First Doctorate holder and professor of a European University Dr Nishith Gupta Chatterjee was born in Bikrampur.
Another reputed poet, who was called a poet of nature was poet Jibanananda Das, born in Barisal. But his ancestral home was at the village Gawpara, Lauhajung, Bikrampur. Because of river erosion, they had to settle in maternal uncle's home in Barisal
Mr Hari Ananda Barori (H.A. Barori ) was born in the village Shamshiddhi of Sreenagar Upazila in Bikrampur. Althrough a brilliant Mr Barori stood 1st class 1st in economics from Presidency College, Calcutta. He had taken the degree three years before Mr Amarta Sen won the Nobel prize in economics. Mr. Sen’s ancestral home was in Manikgonj and his maternal uncles's home was at the village Sonarong Tongibari upazila in Bikrampur.
He (Mr. Barori) wrote a famous book 'In Sun & Shower".The book was dedicated to the memory of his parents whose thinking and life style represented the highest traditions of Bikrampur.
The main significance of this village was its skyhigh obelisk (Math) which was called Shamshiddhi's Math. The writer compared it with Kutub Minar of Delhi. Another Golden son of the soil was Mr Khitimohon Sen who was Vice Chancellor of Rabindra Bharati University. His nephew Satyen Sen was a famous writer, communist leader and founder of "Udichi Shilpi Goshthi " a reputed cultural organisation whose branches are all over Bangladesh. His father's name was Dharanimohon Sen, Nobel prize winner, Mr Amartta Sen is his nephew. Mr Satyen Sen was born in the village Sonarong upazila Tongibari , Bikrampur.